Position Information

Position Information Message
Supervising Assistant Public Defender (Legal, Appeals & Postconviction)
Interested individuals can apply at the careers.ohio.gov website.  Deadline for applications is 12/4/22.

The Ohio Public Defender’s Office is looking for an experienced attorney to serve as a Supervising Assistant Public Defender in the Appeals and Postconviction Section (APC) of our Legal Department. The APC Section litigates in Ohio’s state and federal courts on behalf of people who have been convicted of crimes. Our practice includes both direct appeals of convictions and collateral attacks on convictions, with an eye towards remedying systemic issues that exist within the criminal justice system.  You will report to the Managing Attorney of the Legal Department and will be part of the APC supervising team that is jointly responsible for identifying litigation opportunities, consulting with Ohio’s criminal defense bar, and supporting/coaching attorneys providing direct representation.
We are looking for candidates who possess and exercise leadership skills in order to effectively supervise Assistant Public Defenders and who can ensure that the agency’s mission and values are communicated to staff, integrated into their goals, and reflected in their work on behalf of clients.  The position, which is based in Columbus, currently offers you the opportunity to work from home for a portion of time, so a successful candidate will also be self-motivated and comfortable communicating via Microsoft Teams or other conferencing software during those times. 
The duties for this position include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Supervise appellate staff attorneys who provide post-trial representation in non-capital felony cases.  Primary supervisory duties include reviewing and assigning cases to attorneys (taking into account case complexity, caseloads, experience level and expertise of supervisees, etc.) and reviewing, editing, and approving work product drafted by staff attorneys; and assisting attorneys in preparing for oral argument.  Supervising duties also include completing timely annual performance evaluations, working with employees to set performance goals, coaching to develop performance, prioritizing and approving work schedules, identifying and/or approving training opportunities for staff, approving work and leave time for payroll purposes, and carrying out other administrative tasks, potentially including the initiation of disciplinary actions.
  • Represent clients in post-trial representation in non-capital felony cases, which involves conducting legal research and preparing briefs, motions, memoranda and pleadings; arguing complex cases in the Court of Appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court, and the federal courts; consult with expert witnesses; and meet with clients in prison or jail settings and provide them with legal advice.
  • Respond to inquiries from county public defenders and private-practice counsel regarding various procedural and substantive aspects of criminal law.  Supervisors are also expected to create and manage targeted contacts in specific areas throughout the state to be aware of issues attorneys are facing in courts and in their communities.
  • Collect and track data to allow for statistical analysis of caseloads and workflow.  May assist Policy and Outreach Division in drafting or commenting on proposed legislation.  Appear at CLE seminars as a presenter on behalf of the State Public Defender.  Work individually or collaboratively on special projects at the request of the Department Chief or State Public Defender.
  • Serve as project leader and manager for various litigation projects in the Legal Department, to include litigation strategies in response to Ohio legislation and various superior court decisions, as well as developing litigation to address systemic criminal justice issues in Ohio.
  • Serve as a leader in the Legal Department and throughout OPD, helping to promote our mission, vision, and values throughout the Agency. This includes fostering community within the department and helping to reach the rest of the agency through networking and cross-departmental work.
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender ("OPD") is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation and other services to people accused or convicted of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
Our Mission:      Advocating. Fighting. Helping.
Our Vision:         A Fair Justice System. 
Our Values:        Compassion. Dignity. Equity. Integrity. Service. Community.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  Our commitment to inclusion is inseparable from our commitment to a fair justice system. We strive to ensure inclusive spaces and services for our staff, our clients, and Ohio’s diverse communities. We are committed to building a work environment where all our team members have a voice and can embrace our differences to innovate service to the public. We can best meet our public defense mission through a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, where employees thrive, our mission is accomplished, and Ohioans are served. #TeamOPD is grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion as we work together to pursue fairness and justice for all people.

Position: Supervising Assistant Public Defender (Legal, Appeals & Postconviction)
Organization: Ohio Public Defender
Location: Columbus,  OH 
United States
Salary: $72,176-$103,043 annually
Posting Start Date: 11/18/2022
Date Posted: 11/18/2022

The following are the minimum qualifications for this position:

Admission to Ohio Bar pursuant to Section 4705.01; 3 yrs. exp. as licensed attorney practicing criminal law; 6 mos. exp. or 6 mos. trg in supervisor principles & techniques

Note: Prior to representing a client in federal court or U.S. Supreme court, attorney shall obtain admission to practice law in that court; prior to appointment as appellate counsel for an indigent defendant in a capital case pursuant to Appt.Coun.R. 5.02 & 5.03, an attorney shall obtain certification from the Commission on Appointment of Counsel in Capital Cases.

Note: Eligibility to practice under a Certificate to Practice Law Pending Admission in Ohio, under Rule I, Section 19 of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, or eligibility to practice under a Temporary Certification for Practice in Legal services, Public Defender, and Law School Programs under Rule IX of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, may be accepted in lieu of admission to the Ohio Bar pursuant to R.C. Section 4705.02.


Knowledge of criminal law; judicial system & process in Ohio; supervisory principles/techniques; employee training & development; human relations; policies & procedures of Office of the Ohio Public Defender*; legal counseling; interviewing; public relations. Ability to: deal with many variables & determine specific action; calculate fractions, decimals & percentages; prepare & review pleadings, briefs, motions & memoranda; gather, collate & classify information about data, people or things; handle complex legal issues, some without clear legal precedents, involving significant risks & mental strain; ability to maintain attention to detail & professional composure under intense pressure & volatile circumstances; establish good rapport with clients & their families &/or work cooperatively with county public defenders & members of private bar; prepare & deliver training seminars for legal professionals; draft policies & legislation in area of criminal law; handle sensitive contacts with county public defenders, members of private bar, & representative of state, local & federal governments regarding criminal law & representation of indigent criminal defendants; prepare & deliver public speeches; draft qualifications & standards of conduct for county public defender & appointed counsel systems.

(*) Developed after employment.


Tip about State of Ohio Application Procedures: When completing this application, be sure to clearly describe how you meet the minimum qualifications outlined in this job posting.  We cannot give you credit for your qualifications, experience, education and training if you do not enter into the online application.
This position serves at the pleasure and discretion of the State Public Defender. This position serves in a fiduciary relationship to the State Public Defender and will have an unclassified status per Ohio Revised Code 124.11 (A) (9).
Intentional omission of relevant information, falsification, or misrepresentation of information on the application will disqualify the applicant. In addition, such intentional acts are grounds for immediate termination of an employee. 
The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.  
All final applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointment. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment.

Status: This listing expires on: 2/16/2023
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Organization Information
Ohio Public Defender
250 E. Broad Street, 14th Floor

Columbus,  OH 43215
United States
(614) 466-5394
Tamra Meister